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Restricting Choices of Childbearing Women
Bela Fishbeyn

In this month’s issue of AJOB, Howard Minkoff and Mary Faith Marshall (2016) argue that we ought to acknowledge the inherent complexity and personal nature of risks involved in childbirth, and thus defer, when possible, to the decisions made by autonomous mothers-to-be. They place this in opposition to the claim that, “women have the right to choose how and where to give birth, but they do...

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Fetal Risks, Relative Risks, and Relatives' Risks
Howard Minkoff & Mary Faith Marshall

Several factors related to fetal risk render it more or less acceptable in justifying constraints on the behavior of pregnant women. Risk is an unavoidable part of pregnancy and childbirth, one that women must balance against other vital personal and family interests. Two particular issues relate to the fairness of claims that pregnant women are never entitled to put their fetuses at risk: relativ...

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The Porosity of Autonomy: Social and Biological Constitution of the Patient in Biomedicine
Jonathan Beever & Nicolae Morar

The nature and role of the patient in biomedicine comprise issues central to bioethical inquiry. Given its developmental history grounded firmly in a backlash against 20th-century cases of egregious human subjects abuse, contemporary medical bioethics has come to rely on a fundamental assumption: the unit of care (and the unit of value) is the autonomous self-directing patient. In this article we ...

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